By Alyce Wilson
February 12, 2007 - Auto Show
The Gryphon and I behind the wheel
Dad came up this past weekend, so we could celebrate a belated birthday with him. The Gryphon had suggested that we take him to the Philadelphia Auto Show, and it was a good choice, because Dad really liked it.
He came up Friday night and arrived around 5 p.m. The Gryphon had made some dinner so I just had to warm it up: whole wheat pasta and eggplant parmesan. We also enjoyed some beer from a local beer pub, the Iron Hill Brewery and relaxed a little before I started my evening work.
The next morning, we all got up at around 8 a.m., and The Gryphon made us French toast before we headed into the city. The Gryphon had bought tickets for the R3 train, so we drove down to the station and caught that into the city. We figured it would be a relaxing way to travel, and we wouldn't have to worry about parking.
The auto show is much bigger than the flower show ever is. It took up much more hall space, for one thing. Throughout the course of the day, we managed to see most of it.
Most of the cars were newer vehicles. A really cool aspect of the show was that you got to sit in them, which is not something you normally get to do. We saw a lot of people taking pictures of each other in the expensive cars.
Dad takes a cruise
The Gryphon in a VW
Alyce in a convertible
I took a lot more pictures at the car show, which I'll share later in the week.
By around 1:30 p.m., I was getting pretty worn out and hungry, so I suggested lunch. We headed over to the Reading Terminal Market across the street to get something to eat. I was going to get sushi, but they were really slow about serving people there, and I moved on to another stand where I ordered a vegetarian sandwich on a whole wheat bun.
It took some doing, but we finally managed to find a table where we could sit and eat. We were near where a piano player was entertaining. When we were done we went up and gave him a tip. I told him that hearing him play reminded me I don't currently have a piano. He offered to let me sit down and play something, but I told him I'm strictly a sheet music gal. I need my crutch. He told me he's the opposite: he doesn't even read music!
We headed back to the car show to see what we'd missed. At about 3:30, we took a break and sat down in the main hallway, watching people as they walked by. I was amusing myself by watching how people walked and deciding what part of their body they were leading with, like the exercise we did in improv class. Some people were clearly leading with their feet, their chest, their head or their shoulders. There was a rich cross-section of ages, classes and ethnic backgrounds.
Afterwards, we returned to the show and viewed the sections we hadn't seen before, including a car cut into sections so you could see all its interior features.
We had a little time to kill before our reservations at Karma, a really good Indian restaurant in Old City, so we caught a cab to 4th and Chestnut and got some coffee at Cosi. We even got a seat on one of the couches.
Close to 6 p.m., our reservation time, we walked the two or three blocks to the restaurant. When we arrived, it wasn't terribly crowded, but it filled up as we ate. We each ordered separate dishes and then shared them, family style, which was great. There was still plenty left to box up and take with us.
Not quite ready to call it a night, we caught another cab and headed for Tria, a wine and cheese place in Center City. But they had a 45-minute wait, so we walked to the Continental instead, where we waited at the bar for a table. Dad enjoyed the atmosphere, which is retro '60s, and especially the fun drinks. We'd meant to take him there before but arrived before they were serving dinner.
When they seated us at a table and we told the server we only wanted dessert, she informed us that the tables are really reserved for people eating meals. Normally, they seat people who want desserts only in the lounge area. We told her we'd be sure to do that next time but that nobody had told us before. Later, she was very apologetic, worrying that she'd been too harsh. I told her it was fine, and we gave her a good tip.
We had a good time, enjoying the good food, fun drinks, and interesting atmosphere. Then we headed for Suburban Station to catch the R3 back home.
In the train, we were joking around until The Gryphon realized no one was announcing the stops. From the time that had elapsed, I knew it wasn't time to get out yet but it wouldn't be long, so I put my face up against the class and shielded my eyes to catch a glimpse of the sign at the next station. I could barely read it in the darkness, but it appeared to be the stop right before ours. I made Dad and The Gryphon head for the exit, in the next car.
Sure enough, the ticket taker was standing there, and that's the only place she was announcing the stops. The next stop was, indeed, ours.
We finished off the day by watching My Super Ex-Girlfriend, which is a really fun comedy. I thought it worked really well; better than I expected. They had some great comic talent in it, and a few plot twists I didn't see coming, as well.
Sunday morning, we slept in until about 9:30. Dad wanted to get on road fairly early, so The Gryphon and I threw on some clothes, and we got diner at the local diner before seeing Dad off. It took him a little longer to get home than he'd anticipated, because he'd left his cell phone charger behind. I called his cell phone to let him know, and he doubled back and retrieved it.
Overall, I think he had a great time, and it was a good way to celebrate his birthday.
2006 by Alyce Wilson